Caroline Dormon Awards

Every Year A Supreme Louisiana Master Naturalist is Chosen To Be Honored For Extraordinary Lifetime Achievements!

Nominate Your Choice for 2023 Dormon Award!

Nominate Your Choice for 2021 Dormon Award! Read here about the award and past winners and download the form to submit your nomination!

The Award

This is the premiere award for Naturalists in Louisiana! Recipients win a prestigious trophy and embroidered shirt.


1.  The individual must live in Louisiana 
 2.  The award recognizes a lifetime achievement in the field of natural history
 3.  The individual must have made a significant contribution to the understanding of
      Louisiana’s natural history
 4.  The individual has a track record of sharing his/her contribution with the lay public, scientific community, or both

Who Was Dr. Caroline Dormon?

This award is named for Caroline Dormon, a Louisiana naturalist, horticulturist, ornithologist, historian, archaeologist, preservationist, naturalist, conservationist, and author.  She was undoubtedly one of the pioneer interpreters in Louisiana, and in many ways, her influence extended throughout North America and the world.  Dormon was the first person to promote and lobby for the establishment of a national forest in Louisiana (Kisatchie National Forest); she was the first woman employed by the United States Forestry Department; she was the only woman appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt to the De Soto Commission (established to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the expedition of Hernando De Soto); and, she was an accomplished author and painter who advocated for the preservation of native wildflowers and wildlife.  Besides her formal writings, she corresponded with amateurs and professionals of many interests around the world.  She even sent specimens of goldenrod to Thomas Edison who was experimenting with the plant as a potential source of rubber.  In 1965, Ms. Dormon received an honorary doctorate from LSU in recognition of her lifetime of achievements!

Previous Caroline Dormon Award Winners

2020:  Kelby Ouchley

2020:  Kelby Ouchley managed wildlife refuges for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for 30 years. Two of his major accomplishments during that tenure are establishment of the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge and the Mollicy Project, a 19,0000-acre restoration venture that has been featured in the New York Times.  Being situated on the outskirts of Monroe/West Monroe, Kelby’s vision for BBLNWR as a primary location for public education and outdoor experience has been well realized. The refuge has a thriving “Friends of Black Bayou” group, also initiated by Kelby, that took on converting an old house into a Visitor Center with a meeting room, gift shop and educational exhibits. The Refuge also has an Educational Center with live animal exhibits and a classroom.  Kelby is an acclaimed author with six published books, all of which educate and advocate for natural history. His eloquent and accessible “way with words” draws people in; his books are widely read by a general audience. He has also published many articles in both popular magazines and scientific journals.  He is probably even better known in Louisiana for Bayou Diversity, his weekly radio program that has aired on the local NPR affiliate,  KEDM-FM 90.3, since 1995.  Kelby writes and narrates the program.  Bayou Diversity frequently shows up on the “favorite programs” list of people who support KEDM financially during its various membership campaigns.  Kelby is often called on as a speaker for natural history related conferences and workshops. View Kelby Ouchley’s award ceremony on LMNA Channel. He has been invited as our Keynote Speaker for Rendezvous 2022.

2019:  Vernon Antoine Brou, Jr.

2019:  Vernon Antoine Brou, Jr., is in his 52nd year of catching, mounting, cataloging, and studying insects on a 24-hour, 7-day basis!  During 2018, he operated 115 insect traps every minute of every day, January 1 to December 31, as he has done every year for the past half century.  He has discovered over 400 new species of Louisiana moths and scientifically described 16 new species of Lepidoptera!  He has a personal research collection of about 400,000 insects, mostly Lepidoptera, and especially moths in about 650 drawers.  Vernon officially donated an additional >349,000 specimens to museums just in the US, with an appraised value  exceeding $600,000.  Seven new Lepidopteran species have been named after him.  He has provided public displays of his collections at the La. Wildlife & Fisheries Museum, Louisiana Nature & Science Center, Audubon Zoo (“Butterflies in Flight”), and the Audubon Insectarium.  Paramount to accomplishing his 50+ year study of Louisiana insects of all orders and families has been the design, testing and development of numerous types of insect traps (more than 400 traps) and the development of associated unique automatic collecting chambers allowing continuous daily and nightly, year-round, sampling without having to be present or actively attend the collecting devices during the collecting activities. 

2018:   Dr. Charles Allen

2018:   Dr. Charles Allen is a botanist and has collected more than 22, 000 herbarium specimens and published more than 100 botanical articles!  Charles is a retired Professor of Biology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and also retired from Colorado State University’s Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands.  He is a charter member and past President of the Louisiana Native Plant Society (LNPS).  His published books include “Edible Plants of the Gulf South,” “Wildflowers of Louisiana,” “Trees Shrubs and Woody Vines of Louisiana,” and “Grasses of Louisiana, 3rd ed”.  With Dr. Malcolm Vidrine, he helped to establish the Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society and its restoration projects.  In recent years, he has offered plant id classes at home and on the road and also teaches master naturalists’ programs.  He and his wife Susan own and operate Allen Acres B&B, a nature-oriented paradise in west central Louisiana where he organizes and leads many area field trips.  Their property (Allen Acres Natural Area) is constantly monitored for the identification of living organisms (plants, moths, butterflies, birds, etc.).  Since 2014 Dr. Allen has been running eleven mercury vapor lights and sheets for an inventory of moth species with the species count at 874 (as of Dec. 24, 2020) and growing!

Named in his honor, the 80-acre  Dr. Charles Allen Nature Preserve is located in the biodiverse Ouachita Hills Region on the banks of the Ouachita River near Columbia, Louisiana. The forested land has really interesting ridge and vale topography. It was donated to ULM in the year 2000 by Dr. Harry Winters in honor of his accomplished Botanist colleague, formerly ULM professor, Dr. Charles Allen, the protected area is now administered by the town of Columbia.  

Use the form below to make your nominations. Email completed forms to Larry Raymond at

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